1) A Smooth, Easy Return
It was a short stint on the Injured List for David Price, and he came back on Monday without missing a beat. Boston was cautious with the southpaw as he only threw five innings, but Price easily could have kept on going. He needed just 67 pitches, 47 strikes, to get through his afternoon as both of the runs he allowed were unearned. Price scattered three hits and didn’t walk a batter, but he did give up a two run homer to Luke Maile following a Michael Chavis fielding error. And as long as Chavis continues to produce at the plate, he hit his ninth home run of the season, Boston will live with his defense as it was his third error of the season. It was the second victory of the season for Price who struck out four while lowering his ERA to 3.29 on the season. At this point, granted he faced Toronto yesterday, it’s safe to say that Price can produce just fine in Boston.
2) Profar Breaks the Mendoza Line
We, both fantasy owners and the Oakland A’s, are still waiting for the Jurickson Profar we saw last season to present himself once again. After the former top prospect hit .254 with 20 home runs, 77 RBI, and 10 stolen bases last season, we know that he is capable of doing it, he just needs to. Profar picked up two hits last night against Cleveland, and with that, he is now hitting .201 on the season. It seems obvious to say, but Profar’s batting average really can only go up from here. In fairness, he is hitting .304 over his last seven games, so perhaps the worst truly is behind us. Profar’s .200 BABIP certainly backs that up, and last night he hit his sixth home run of the season. The one thing we can say about Profar, is that with 25 RBI, he is at least driving in runs, and it is an encouraging sign that Oakland has left him in the middle of the lineup. Additionally, Profar is a valuable fantasy commodity, as depending on the league, it’s possible he is eligible at each infield position.
3) Taking Advantage of Baltimore
It’s no secret Baltimore’s pitching staff leaves a lot to be desired, but Gleyber Torres certainly is taking advantage of them. Last night, it was Torres’ third multi home run game against the Orioles already this season. We know that Torres is a talented young player, but it would be nice if he got to face Baltimore everyday. The good thing though about roto leagues, is that it doesn’t matter when or where Torres got the production, as long as it was recorded at some point this season. Each of Torres’ two hits on Monday cleared the fence, and that gives him 10 long balls on the season along with 23 RBI. Even though the Yankees put up 10 runs last night, each of Torres’ home runs were solo shots as he raised his average to .298 on the season. Also, don’t look now, but Gary Sanchez continues to emerge as a hitter (well really re-emerge) as he hit his 13th home run of the season while bringing his batting average up to .265 on the season. Having Sanchez and Torres step up while the Yankees essentially play with half their roster will only serve to make them stronger as their health begins to improve.
4) Rosario Scores Twice
It wasn’t the most excited of stat lines from Amed Rosario, but it was worth taking a note of. As the Mets work through some struggles, Michael Conforto is also sidelined with a concussion, Rosario found himself back in the second spot of the order for New York last night. When Rosario was moved there towards the end of last season, he truly began to find his groove, and there is no reason why that can’t continue this season. Rosario got things going in the first inning with his fourth home run of the season, and also later scored after reaching base via the walk. While he did strike out twice, Rosario is hitting .265 on the season, but with 47 strikeouts in 43 games, the shortstop does need to work on making contact. I wouldn’t think of Rosario as a run producer, but he does have 25 RBI so far this season. What we are really waiting for though, is for Rosario to start running, as he has just four stolen bases so far this season.
5) A Quiet Producer
With all of attention seemingly on every other off-season addition in Philadelphia, JT Relamuto is quietly flying under the radar and most certainly living up to the price the Phillies paid for him this off-season. The same can also be said for fantasy owners who invested in the catching position on draft day. Realmuto put Philadelphia ahead for good with his sixth home run of the season in the 10th inning against Monday as part of a two hit effort. The catcher, who had also driven in a run earlier in the game, now has 29 RBI on the season with a very solid .277 batting average. At this point, not like it’s really a surprise, it’s Realmuto, Gary Sanchez, and everyone else behind the plate.
6) Minor Takes Care of Business
If you look at the final score from last night’s game, Texas defeated Seattle 10-9, you might not come to the same conclusion knowing that the southpaw was on the mound for the Rangers. However, if it were up to him, the final score would have looked a whole lot different as he took care of business against the Mariners. In fact, it wasn’t unlike any other start we have seen this season from the southpaw, as after limiting Seattle to two runs in six innings of work, his ERA now hits at 2.65. Texas was able to hang on to get Minor his fifth victory of the season as he scattered six hits while walking a batter. Minor also continued to over power opposing hitters as he struck out 11 Seattle hitters on the night, and for the season he is retiring 9.34 batters per nine innings via the strikeout. The left-hander is benefiting from a 81.1% strand rate, but the risk is minimal and he has proven to be a dependable option for both Texas and your fantasy team.
7) It Was Jake Day in Houston
The back injury to George Springer appears to be minor, but the Astros will continue to be careful with their center fielder. That means more time Springer as the DH which Jake Marisnick slotting into center field. We know all about Marisnick’s prowess with the glove, but to this point, his production at the plate has been streaky at best. So far this season though, Marisnick has been coming through with that bat, and that, along with Houston’s desire to manage Springer’s workload, has led to more playing time for him. On Monday, Marisnick only went 1 for 3, but he is hitting .293 on the season, and that one hit was a big one. It was the fifth home run of the season for the outfielder, and all he does, is continue to earn himself more playing time.
8) Soroka Continues to Cruise
There was a lot to like from the Braves last night, as Ronald Acuna went deep twice and Austin Riley hit his first home run on the road. Nothing about that should be surprising as we know all about Acuna and the star power he brings as well as Riley and his minor league pedigree. In fact, Atlanta really only needed two of the four runs they scored as Mike Soroka dominated, once again. As they were facing San Francisco, it shouldn’t have been much of a surprise, but the young right-hander has been consistently good all season. Last night, Soroka threw eight innings of one run ball while allowing just two hits (one of which a Brandon Crawford home run) while not walking a batter and striking out seven. Soroka now has an ERA of just 1.01 with a 2.88 FIP and a 3.95 xFIP. While he didn’t allow a walk last night, Soroka has given up 3.55 walks per nine innings, so that is something to keep an eye on, but it is clear that he has the stuff to stick in the major leagues.
9) Should We Pay Attention to Arraez?
While based on his 3 for 4 performance last night, the answer would be yes, Luis Arraez should be on our radar. The problem though, is that at this point, it’s unclear how much regular playing time Arraez will receive as since he is not a top prospect, Minnesota doesn’t have a lot invested in him. Also, due to his lack of power, Arraez is more valuable to the Twins than he would be to your fantasy team. In eight at bats since his promotion, Arraez has four singles, one double, and three runs scored after hitting .344 in the minor leagues prior to his promotion. At this point, Arraez, who has six career minor league home runs, is best left as a flier in deeper leagues.
10) Another Win for Paddack
We shouldn’t really be surprised, but Chris Paddack just continues to deliver. It is clear that San Diego will continue to be careful with the right-hander as they limited him to 89 pitches last night in six innings of work, and he certainly handed the game off the bullpen in good shape. It was the fourth victory of the season for Paddack who limited Arizona to just one run on five hits while not walking a batter and striking out seven. For the season, Paddack’s ERA is now just 1.93 with 9.82 strikeouts and 1.93 walks per nine innings. It is also clear that hitters are failing to make good contact against Paddack as they have a BABIP of just .198. Yes, with a 2.74 FIP and 3.48 xFIP, there is a clear path to regression, but even at either of those levels, fantasy owners would be quite pleased about Paddack. That also means there will likely be a rough outing or two on its way, but that shouldn’t be taken as indication as to Paddack’s skill level and overall outlook.